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Sears Suburban Front Wheel Bushings - Q's

plastic bushings metal bushings upgrade

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#1 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2014 - 04:33 PM

So I had the front end of my 68 Sears Super off the ground today and noticed that the front wheels wobble pretty badly.  Like almost 3/4".  Wow.  Yikes.  By wobble, I mean there is a LOT of slop or wear in the front wheel bushings.

 

The grease zirq's were totally sludged over, so I doubt the front wheel bushings ever saw maintenance.  

 

I searched this both here and Googled it everywhere.  I didn't find a lot of info specific to this, but the best I can tell, the original wheels may have had plain plastic bushings (not Timken [tapered roller] or ball bearings) that tend to wear out. 

 

In another site, I found a short thread about possible upgrades but most require a bit more than I want to do on this particular project.  As well, appears the upgrade would mean I couldn't use the stock wheels.  I don't want to do that. 

 

I searched the specific part number for the OEM bushings (9040H) and find some metal AND plastic bushings available in ebay and elsewhere. 

 

My questions are these:

 

1.)  Should I expect the spindles to be worn out as well as the original bushings?  Or do the spindles usually hold up ok?

 

2.)  Would you suggest I go with plastic or metal replacement bushings?

 

I thought about upgrading to roller bearings for about a minute but I guess I'm really just looking for the quickest easiest fix that might last another 46 years.  ;-) 

 

Thanks!

 

Micke


Edited by MountainMichael, October 15, 2014 - 04:50 PM.


#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 06:14 AM

I think you will find some wear, but not beyond use.
I would go with the metal ones or bearings.
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#3 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 12:01 PM

Thanks for the info.  Much appreciated!



#4 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 06:42 PM

Go with the metal bushings plastic will not hold up for another 46 yrs. Actually I'd be very surprised if plastic was ever used, they could be an aftermarket thing.


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#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 06:51 PM

Sorry I'm late to respond!

Do you have a picture of an original?

I can get them for you but there seems to be a few styles, may be able to get some oil impregnated ones as well.


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#6 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 06:55 PM

Go with the metal bushings plastic will not hold up for another 46 yrs. Actually I'd be very surprised if plastic was ever used, they could be an aftermarket thing.

 

Thank you.  Will do.

 

 

Sorry I'm late to respond!

Do you have a picture of an original?

I can get them for you but there seems to be a few styles, may be able to get some oil impregnated ones as well.

 

I don't have the wheels apart right now.  I can post a picture of what is listed in ebay.  I'll edit with that in a few. 
 

One of the ads for this PN has dimensions:  3/4 ID X 1 3/8 OD

 

Most of the parts listed with "Sears" and this PN in ebay look about the same.  I can't seem to post the URL from servimg here. 


Edited by MountainMichael, October 16, 2014 - 07:02 PM.


#7 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 07:01 PM

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there were several versions of that bushing. Unfortunately, it may be a visual comparison that verifies which one it is.
Even if there is a cross reference by year and model, someone along the way may have swapped wheels with another tractor and the rims aren't OEM.
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#8 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 07:03 PM

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there were several versions of that bushing. Unfortunately, it may be a visual comparison that verifies which one it is.
Even if there is a cross reference by year and model, someone along the way may have swapped wheels with another tractor and the rims aren't OEM.

 

Thanks for the info.  Can't seem to post pics here with the image host I use.  I'll post back once I have the wheels apart and see if maybe I can send the pics to Doc Bolens by site messenger.


Edited by MountainMichael, October 16, 2014 - 07:06 PM.


#9 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 07:08 PM

Pictures are better if they upload directly anyways.
Here is a brief tutorial: http://gardentractor...file-uploading/
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#10 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 07:19 PM

Pictures are better if they upload directly anyways.
Here is a brief tutorial: http://gardentractor...file-uploading/

 

Got it.  Thanks!



#11 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted December 03, 2014 - 08:04 PM

Back when this thread was active, I was short on time and frustrated that the machine shop was delaying every darned thing they could on the engine machining.  As mentioned in my HH120 rebuild thread, I ended up taking on the rest of the machining or it would never have been completed before the machine shop went out of business. 

 

The point is, I didn't have time or patience for the wheel bushings for awhile.  So I looked at the extra wide wheels, ribbed Sears tires and moon wheel covers and figured these were probably the original 1968 Sears Super SS12 wheels.  Here is a picture:

 

LF Wheel - tire - wheel cover.jpg

 

Being short on time back then and very frustrated by the massive waste of time by the machine shop debacle, I just went ahead and ordered the bushing set that was cross-referenced to the original Sears PN figuring it wasn't much money and I'd rather not have to do the messy teardown twice.

 

In checking the wheels today before disassembly, the rattle fit was worse than I originally estimated.  The one side was flopping laterally maybe 3/4" or more; the other side was in excess of 1 inch.  Was holding my breath figuring the spindles must be shot. 

 

The bushings fit the wheel hubs perfectly and the spindles were at least as good as what I see being sold in eBay as "good usable".  With this kind of apparent neglect, I am amazed the spindles weren't wrecked.  Must be really tough stuff.

 

I cleaned and polished any minor scoring on the spindles so those areas would be less likely to chew up the new bushings. 

 

The only near screw-up on my part was I FORGOT that I had read in here that a 68 Super would have a reverse thread bolt in the left front (I wonder if that is why so many LF spindles in eBay have the bolt snapped off and stuck in the threads?).  That is LF from the perspective of the operator.  The only thing that saved it was:  I used one of the standard procedural steps for what appeared to be a stuck bolt - that being trying turning it the other way and VOILA!  The truth was revealed.  Due to earlyheimers being in good supply in my garage and figuring it could hide under the Super wheel cover, I did this:

 

LF wheel warning.jpg

 

As I'm sure the veterans in here know, with the right parts, the bushings are an easy job but a bit grungy at times - and a lot of cleaning.  After pumping the newly bushed & installed wheels full of grease, I greased the kingpins and triangle radius link while I was there.  It took a lot of grease to push out all the grime and ugliness in those 3 - especially that triangle thing.  I'm betting that last had never been greased since the tractor was new.  

 

I used the green synthetic polymer waterproof grease because it was what was in the gun.

 

The wheel bushings have very little radial play in them now.  I'm thinking the tractor will be more predictable on side hills now.

 

Maybe it was wheel toe-in, but before replacing the bushings, the steering still felt ok for tightness except on sidehills.  Go figure.  

 

Thanks again to all,

 

mm 


Edited by MountainMichael, December 03, 2014 - 10:38 PM.

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#12 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2014 - 06:59 AM

Nice write up and good info for folks to know!


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